A new focus exhibition opening at the Hope College Kruizenga Art Museum on Friday, Aug. 30, will feature artworks by Japanese artist Shin-ichiro (“Shin”) Sawano.
A reception will be held to celebrate the opening of “Capturing Light: The Art of Shin Sawano, A Tradition for the Future of Japan,” and the museum’s semester-long exhibition, “Deities and Devotion in Mongolian Buddhist Art,” on Friday, Sept. 6, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Remarks will be delivered at 5:30 p.m.
Using photography and film, Sawano has spent more than 35 years capturing the ephemeral beauty of the natural environment in countries around the world. Some of his best known work includes images of the deserts, flowers and night skies of South Africa and Namibia.
Sawano often spends hours — and even days — waiting for just the right moment to take his pictures, and the resulting images are far more than visual documents of particular places and moments in time. “They convey the subtle patterns and rhythms of the natural world that are too frequently obscured by the hustle and bustle of modern urban life,” said Charles Mason, who is the director and Margaret Feldmann Kruizenga Curator of the Kruizenga Art Museum. “Sawano is especially adept at capturing the transient effects of light and color that occur at certain times of day and in certain atmospheric conditions.”
“Capturing Light” will showcase 11 of Sawano’s most recent artworks. The pieces included in the exhibition combine elements of time-honored Japanese handicraft with cutting-edge photographic and printing technologies. Sawano’s images are printed on ultra-thin Tengujo washi paper, a traditional Japanese paper made from mulberry bark and pure mountain water. The printing is done with a digital inkjet printer that uses ultraviolet (UV) light to instantly cure the pigments, creating sharper images with subtler gradations of color than can be achieved with conventional inkjet printing. After printing, Sawano applies sheets of pure platinum and gold leaf to the back of each image. Visible between the thin fibers of the washi paper, the reflective surface of the metallic leaf amplifies the effects of light and color that are already inherent in the images.
“Capturing Light: The Art of Shin Sawano” was organized by the Kruizenga Art Museum in conjunction with the artist, who is loaning all of the artworks featured in the exhibition. Visitors may learn more about Shin Sawano and see additional examples of his work by visiting his website shinsawano.com. The exhibition will run through Saturday, Oct. 26.
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